BET Awards to honor Nipsey Hussle; Cardi, Lil Nas to perform

This June 24, 2018, file photo shows a view of the stage at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. (AP)
The Associated Press

Nipsey Hussle, the late rapper who was a respected and beloved community activist in South Los Angeles, will be honored at the 2019 BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award.

The posthumous honor will be presented Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The rapper is also nominated for best hip-hop male artist at the awards show.

Born Ermias Asghedom, Hussle was shot to death on March 31outside his South Los Angeles clothing store in what police said was a personal dispute. His funeral, where Beyoncé and Jay-Z were among the big-name celebrities who attended, was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The last celebrity funeral held at the concert arena was Michael Jackson’s in 2009.

After releasing a number of successful mixtapes, Hussle found greater success with “Victory Lap,” his major-label debut album released last year. It earned him a Grammy nomination — his first — for best rap album, though the project lost to Cardi B’s multi-hit “Invasion of Privacy.”

Cardi B is the leading nominee at the BET Awards with seven, including two bids for the top prize — video of the year — thanks to her hits “Money” and “Please Me,” co-starring Bruno Mars. The rap star is schedule to perform onstage Sunday.

Lil Nas X, whose “Old Town Road” is spending its 11th week at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 chart, will perform the global hit alongside country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Other performers include Migos, H.E.R., Lizzo, Lil Baby, Meek Mill, Fantasia, DaBaby, Jeremih and Kirk Franklin.

John Legend, DJ Khaled and YG will pay tribute to Hussle with a performance.

Actress Regina Hall will host the show, where nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and media mogul Tyler Perry will earn the Ultimate Icon Award.

Cardi B, who won two BET Awards last year, is also competing for album of the year, the viewer’s choice award and best female hip-hop artist, where her competition includes Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, Megan Thee Stallion, Kash Doll and Lizzo.

Hussle will compete with Drake, J. Cole, Travis Scott, Meek Mill and 21 Savage for best male hip-hop artist.

The 2019 BET Awards will air live across seven Viacom networks in the United States, including BET, MTV, VH1, Logo, MTV 2, MTV Classic and BET HER.